Every profession has its busy season: spring for accountants, summer for lifeguards, fall for farmers. For performing artists, that busy season is winter thanks to all the holiday cheer that needs spreading!

As a professional singer who has taken part in countless holiday concerts, I’m always particularly interested in how performing arts companies make sure their concert isn’t just another standard event. Luckily, Fort Wayne, Indiana has quite a few singular performances that leave the usual Christmas fare behind for something far more interesting. Here are just four such seasonal events.

Heartland Sings Spirit of Christmas 2017 Allen County Courthouse

Unique Holiday Performances in Fort Wayne, Indiana

The Spirit of Christmas

The Spirit of Christmas is a haunting choral concert hosted by Heartland Sings each year. What makes it so special? It's setting: the Allen County Courthouse. The prolonged echo caused by the courthouses’ splendid rotunda makes this concert one of Heartland Sings’ most popular and memorable each and every year.

Location: Allen County Courthouse

Dates and Time: Friday, December 14 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, December 15 at 2:00 p.m.; Sunday, December 16 at 2:00 p.m.


Holiday Pops

Starring Broadway regular Mike Eldred and featuring all the stops--a light show, dancers, and the full force of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic--this event is a true holiday spectacular. It also offers something for everyone, from fans of classical music to those looking for lighter holiday standards. Look for Stephanie Carlson, an effervescent red-headed soprano who I work with and can personally vouch for. She’s really something!

Location: Embassy Theatre

Dates and Time: Friday, December 8 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, December 9 at 2:00 and 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, December 16 at 2:00 and 7:30 p.m.

Sing! An Irish Christmas

It doesn’t get much more unique than “Celtic, Bluegrass, Americana, Modern and Classical music along with cultural dance and the choral sounds of the holiday.” That’s what “Sing! An Irish Christmas” has to offer, with dancers, a full choir, and instrumentalists led by Keith and Kristyn Getty. This is a particular favorite of the religious crowd, as it features many sacred favorites such as “Go Tell It on the Mountain.”

Location: Embassy Theater

Date and Time: December 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Kerry Coughlin, Fort Wayne Ballet

The Nutcracker

It is not the holiday season without a performance of the Nutcracker. The Fort Wayne Ballet's rendition is a special opportunity to get dressed up and enjoy the beautiful tale of Clare and her Nutcracker. Plus, join the Fort Wayne Ballet for their Sugar Plum Parties for festive treats and fun photo opportunities.

Location: Arts United Center

Dates and Time: Friday, November 30 at 7:30 p.m., and December 1 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic; December 2 at 2:30 p.m.; December 6 at 7:30 p.m.; December 7 at 7:30 p.m.; December 8 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; December 9 at 2:30 p.m.

Sugar Plum Parties following each matinee.